Newborn babies with COVID-19 may have only mild illness, mostly with fever: Study

Worried about your newborn babies amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? The finding of a new study may give you some relief. A report from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has shown that infants under 90 days of age who tested positive for COVID-19 tend to be well, with little or no respiratory symptoms. Fever was often found to be the primary or only symptom in newborn babies infected with the novel coronavirus, noted the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics. Also Read – Two domestic pharma giants get DCGI’s nod to manufacture and sell Remdesivir in India

“While there is limited data on infants with COVID-19 from the United States, our findings suggest that these babies mostly have mild illness and may not be at higher risk of severe disease as initially reported from China,” said lead author Leena B. Mithal, paediatric infectious diseases expert from Lurie Children’s and Assistant Professor of Paediatrics at Northwestern University, US. Also Read – COVID-19 testing is a double-edged sword, says Donald Trump as he orders officials to slow it down

The researchers also found that none of the infants who were admitted to the hospital’s general inpatient service required oxygen, respiratory support, or intensive care. Despite mild clinical illness, the infants had notably high viral loads in their nasal specimens. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 4,10,461 as death toll reaches 13,254

However, Dr. Mithal is unclear whether young infants with fever and a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 require hospital admission. “The decision to admit to the hospital is based on age, need for preemptive treatment of bacterial infection, clinical assessment, feeding tolerance, and adequacy of follow-up,” she added.

Mithal believes there may be opportunities to utilize rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing to determine disposition of clinically well infants with fever.

How to keep your little one safe during the pandemic

These are a few guidelines recommended by health experts and health care organizations to protect your baby from the COVID-19 virus.

Practise Good Hand Hygiene: Always clean your hands before touching your baby and as far as possible avoid touching his mouth or nose. According to health experts, you need to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds in order to keep germs away. If you’re using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, rub it in your hands for at least 30 seconds.

Maintain social distancing: Instead of having friends and relatives visit your place to meet your baby, introduce your baby to them via video call. Because a study reveals that up to 45 per cent of coronavirus cases s are asymptomatic, that is the infected person show no symptoms.

Regularly clean your baby’s toys and gear: Health care agencies advise parents of newborns to regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces in their home and clean their baby’s toys and gear with warm water. Make sure to regularly clean your baby’s bottles, bedding and clothes as well.

Take precautionary measures while breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is good for your baby. It is more important to breastfeed your baby during the pandemic, says a study from the University of Pennsylvania. If breastfeeding mothers have any COVID-19 symptoms, the WHO advises that they should clean their breast pump and hands before going near the baby. They should also wear a mask while feeding the baby. Also, they shouldn’t forget to clean the breast pump with warm water after each use.

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